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Wednesday, December 26, 2012

2013 Books

Now that Christmas is behind us (and I hope we all have warm memories of it) I feel like looking ahead to some books being released in 2013 that I'm itching to get my fingers on.

The first one, thanks to an excerpt in GoodHousekeeping: The Aviator's Wife by Melanie Benjamin. The excerpt was enticing and I was pleased to see Melanie Benjamin as the author. I really enjoyed her book The Autobiography of Mrs. Tom Thumb. I'm currently in a historical fiction mood. (reading The Age of Desire by Jennie Fields right now...a fictionalized tale of Edith Wharton and her midlife affair. Enjoyable and interesting thus far). The Aviator's Wife is about Charles Lindburgh and Anne Morrow. The book comes out the day after my birthday...in case anyone needed that little tidbit. Looks good. Must read.

Next is Shades of Earth by Beth Revis, which comes out the same day as The Aviator's Wife. This is the conclusion of the Across the Universe trilogy which I've been loving. It's YA sci-fi with a dash of romance and some thriller in there as well. Beautifully written, the first two books have been so good they make me jealous. Makes me grow as a writer to read them. Since the 2nd book was every bit as gripping as the first, I can't wait to see what will happen in the third.

Also, A Touch of Scarlet by Eve Marie Mont is coming out in March. She wrote the fabulous A Breath of Eyre and will be doing A Phantom Enchantment next...which is the one I'm really really dying for. But, A Touch of Scarlet will motivate me to finally read The Scarlet Letter, which I managed to get through school without ever having to read. I wanted to. I like Hawthorne. But I guess the time was never right. Now must be the time. So this one will be a treat for a number of reasons.

Finally, I'm excited for the release of my third picture book with MeeGenius. The text is final. The illustrations were completed last week (and they look simply stunning!!!). I'll be sure to shout from the rooftops when that becomes available for you. Speaking of such things, my incredible Pajama Girl illustrator has a new App available for Christmas, but it's never too late for a good story and great artwork. Please check out his Nativity Story.

I know this isn't a very big list. I'm going to need a lot of books for next year. What books are you looking forward to in the new year?  Please leave a comment and let me know!

Looking forward to 2013, I feel like good things are coming.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Merry Christmas GIVEAWAY!

The end of the year is upon us and holiday time is in full swing. I read several really great books this year so I thought I'd feature a few of them here should anyone care about the opinions of a librarian by day, writer by night.

In no particular order, my favorite reads of 2012.

A Million Suns by Beth Revis. (young adult) The second book in the Across the Universe series. It's my kind of sci-fi.The first book blew me away. The opening chapter was unlike anything I'd ever read and the rest of the book didn't let up. Book two didn't disappoint and the conclusion is due in January, one day after my birthday I might add. Definitely a trilogy worth reading.

Jiggy McCue: Murder and Chips by Michael Lawrence (middle grade) In full disclosure, this book was dedicated to me, which makes it the single greatest book ever written. But aside from that, it is a really fun murder mystery. Don't be fooled by the 'middle grade' designation. There is plenty of adult wit to hold the interest of any adult reader. Clever and fun, it'll keep you guessing. It's also the final book of the popular Jiggy McCue series. A fitting send off for the long suffering character, Jiggy McCue.

Tell the Wolves I'm Home by Carol Rifka Brunt. (adult/young adult crossover) "Wow." That pretty much sums up this beautiful book. Narrated by June, a 14 year old girl who is picking up the pieces after her beloved uncle, Finn, dies of AIDS. Finn was a free spirited artistic genius who also happened to be homosexual. A fact that was known in his family, but largely unacknowledged. This book is written so beautifully and the emotions are so raw and real that I didn't want to put it down. This falls into the category of books that I think everyone should read at some point. Very moving, you'll feel like you're watching something fantastic unfold while you read it. Definitely pay attention to this book and author.

Easter Ann Peters: Operation Cool by Jody Lamb (middle grade) In full disclosure, this book was written by a dear friend of mine and I'm in the acknowledgements section, which also makes this one of the greatest books ever written. But really, this book is striking in a similar way to Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher. In this book, lively, unique and sweet Easter is trying to stop being a dork and make her 7th grade year shine. She makes a plan, Operation Cool, to help her achieve her goals. But as she starts making progress at school, her home life is falling apart due to her mother's battle with depression and alcohol addiction. The book skillfully balances Easter's hope and enthusiasm with her sadness, confusion and embarrassment. I compare it to Thirteen Reasons Why because it highlights the fact that people don't wear everything on their sleeves and you never know what other people are hiding. A positive message, powerfully written. It made me laugh and cry. Also a book that everyone should read.

Blind Spot by Laura Ellen. (young adult) How to classify this one? Powerful and unique, for sure. It's told by Roz, a young lady who's been diagnosed with macular degeneration. She wants desperately to just be normal, but as she fights against the accommodations she needs to make for herself, she finds herself in the middle of a murder case. What I really liked this about this book was the richness of the characters. Most of the main characters are troubled kids but this book makes them into real people. You get to see dimensions to them and view them as people coping with their disabilities or problems. And they don't all make good choices. Really great book. I would also recommend that people read this, if for no other reason than to get an idea for what it's really like to live with a disability. Very well done.

GIVEAWAY!
Since it's the gift giving time of year, I thought I'd give away an autographed copy of Easter Ann Peters: Operation Cool by Jody Lamb. All you need to do is leave a comment on this blog post with your email address and I'll pick a winner next Tues. and get the book shipped out to you. How do you like that? Merry Christmas!

Monday, November 12, 2012

The Next Big Thing Blog Hop

‘The Next Big Thing’ Blog Hop is a chance for authors to tell what they’re working on. An author answers 10 questions about her next book, then tags other authors to help spread the word!
Thank you to Eve Marie Mont for tagging me! (I'm dying to read what she's working on next!)
1. What is the working title of your book?
Lillian's Creative Cottage

2. Where did the idea come from for the book?
A friend of mine was out of touch for awhile thanks to moving and needing to get the internet set up at the new place. It was estimated to take 10 days. 10 days without *mystery friend*, I thought. Then a scene appeared in my mind of a young woman huddled at her table on a cold rainy day. She was missing a friend she hadn't seen or heard from in a long time. I started writing the scene immediately and started asking who was this woman? Why hadn't she seen her friend for so long? What kind of relationship did they have? The story was born.

3. What genre does your book fall under?
Contemporary realistic for adults...possibly the emerging 'new adult' genre.

4. Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition?
Emmy Rossum might not make a bad Lillian. Colin Firth as Michael Marley and Rupert Grint as Paul Blisston would be great. Emma Thompson as Glenna Briggs with Scarlett Johansson as her daughter, Moidra. Katherine Heigl as Stacey. (ooh, this is more fun than I thought!)

5. What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?
Lillian befriends her literary idol, thus embarking on a relationship that launches her own creative career and causes her to reevaluate her other relationships.

6. Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?
Time will tell. 

7. How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript?
Still working on that. 

8. What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?
At this point, I'm not entirely sure, although I sure hope I can write it as well as Tell the Wolves I'm Home by Carol Rifka Brunt.

9. Who or What inspired you to write this book?
See question 2. 

10. What else about your book might pique the reader’s interest?
This book links perfectly with my lifelong dream of writing my own version of Gaston Leroux's Phantom of the Opera. (now go back and look at those actor choices and you might see what's going on.) I'm so excited! 

Next Week You'll be able to see what these awesome authors are working on:
2. Ray Veen

Message for the tagged authors and interested others:

Rules of The Next Big Thing
***Use this format for your post
***Answer the ten questions about your current WIP (Work In Progress)
***Tag five other writers/bloggers and add their links so we can hop over and meet them.

Ten Interview Questions for The Next Big Thing:
What is the working title of your book?
Where did the idea come from for the book?
What genre does your book fall under?
Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition?
What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?
Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?
How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript?
What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?
Who or What inspired you to write this book?
What else about your book might pique the reader’s interest?
Include the link of who tagged you and this explanation for the people you have tagged. 
Piece of advice: Line up your five people in advance.





Thursday, September 27, 2012

S. Willett Interview

Today, I'm interviewing S. Willett, author of Country and the Rock published by MuseItUp
Publishing.

I've been interested in aliens since I was a little girl. I blame ET for this. Although that movie makes me cry every time. Who's with me on that? Anyway, S. Willett has added a new and fun entry into the alien genre. Check it out and see what she has to say! 


 Twelve-year-old Sean West, also known as Country, sees an explosion of light and finds clues that lead him to Clicker, a young alien, who wants to know what it’s like to be a boy from Earth.
Country and his friends show Clicker all kinds of Earth-boy fun and Clicker teaches them about planet, Sory, in the Whirlpool Galaxy.
They discover keeping Clicker a secret from others isn’t so easy. Not only are the boys thwarted by Country’s sister but by the local sheriff, the FBI, and some thieves from another planet, Venatici.

Restless Writer (RW): How long have you been writing for children?
S. Willett (SW): I’ve only been writing for five years, but wish I’d begun earlier. The journey writing lends me is more than I could have ever hoped for.


RW: 
How did you hear about MuseItUp Publishing?
SW: My good friend and mentor, Susan Davis, is an editor at MuseItUp. I met Sue at an SCBWI conference in 2007.



RW: What inspired you to write Country and the Rock?
SW: I had a dream and knew it had to be written, but quickly learned it’s not easy to write a book. Everything about children’s writing pointed to SCBWI, so I joined and went to my first conference. Susan Davis suggested I take a two-year course with The Institute of Children’s Literature. 


RW: As far as movie/television aliens, which do you think seem the most realistic?
SW: I think we all relate to what is most like us. Star Trek and Star Wars have many strange looking characters but also those much like Earthlings. I have made my main aliens human-looking but with a twist. Of course, there had to be scary looking creatures too.



RW: If you met an alien (and it wasn't pointing a death ray at your head) would you be more scared or more excited?
SW: Funny you ask because I’ve had this conversation with my husband. He would gladly meet with an alien while I’m content to write about them.

RW: 
If you and 3 other children's authors were going to colonize another planet, who would you take with you and why?
SW: Neil Gaiman, Suzanne Collins, and Philip Reeve all have great imaginations and could figure out how to make it work.



RW: What are you writing currently?
SW: Country and The Rock is the first book in a planned trilogy. I’m working on the second book COUNTRY CAPTURED. Yes, Country gets captured by the bad aliens and taken to his buddy’s planet, Sory, in hopes of a trade. Some strange experiences are to be had on the ship and in the Whirlpool Galaxy.



RW: What is the last book you read that you really loved?
SW: OKAY FOR NOW by Gary D. Schmidt deeply touched me. This is a great story about a tween boy trying to fit, not only in a new town, but in his own family. We are also given wonderful lessons on drawing and art with an insight into John James Audubon and the depth of an artist’s thinking.


Thanks so much S! Good luck writing book 2. Sequels can be trickier than you'd think.

Friday, September 14, 2012

Pajama Girl Meets Blanket Boy virtual launch party

It's here!
Pajama Girl Meets Blanket Boy is now available here.

As part of the virtual launch party (all day today) I'm going to give away several of these awesome Pajama Girl bottlecap necklace and barrette sets, made by my friend, Laura Lorraine. I have the only existing sets so these should be a highly coveted rare item. Not only do they feature the plucky heroine, Pajama Girl (as rendered by the truly amazing Ingvard the Terrible) but they are super cute in general. Laura makes plenty of adorable and affordable stuff like this, and, obviously, she can do custom pieces. Take a gander at her site.



As part of the festivities, I'm going to start with a trivia question about Pajama Girl. After all, there would be no sequel without the original. 

Are you ready for this?

TRIVIA QUESTION! 

Pajama Girl was published by MeeGenius on May 8, 2011. What year did I originally write the story?

The question will remain all day. The first person to answer correctly will win one of those lovely necklace sets. I'll announce winners for all of today's giveaways sometime this evening. (never know when the kids will get to sleep.) 
Stay tuned for more questions, giveaways and fun!



Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Pajama Girl Meets Blanket Boy



The time is upon us! My second digital picture book with MeeGenius: Pajama Girls Meets Blanket Boy, will be released this Fri. Sept. 14! (which happens to be the birthday of a dear friend)

To celebrate, I'm going to host a virtual release party all day Sept. 14. I will have events going in a Facebook group page. (Timeline makes it too difficult to have conversations between non-admin people so the group should flow better.)

If you're not into Facebook, I will also host some giveaways right here on my blog so no one will miss out on the fun.

I hope you will be able to stop by to help me celebrate my two favorite superheros.

Thank you!

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Gearing Up to Get an Agent Meet & Greet

 Hello everyone! I am part of the 2012 Gearing Up to Get an Agent blogfest. Click the badge over there if you want to sign up to get in on the fun too. 

Our first event is a meet & greet so here's the lowdown on me. 


 I am an SCBWI member and the author of Pajama Girl, a digital picture book published by MeeGenius. The sequel, Pajama Girl Meets Blanket Boy will be released Sept. 14, 2012. An alphabet book is tentatively scheduled to release by the end of the year. 

But I write more than picture books. I'm currently submitting my YA novel, Dream Girl, and hoping to land an agent or editor for that. 

In my non-writing life, I am a wife, mother of two young children and I work outside the home part time as a Social Media Librarian. I also do freelance publicity for things that truly inspire me and I believe in. Among them, Spoken Word Greetings from England
and the debut MG novel Easter Ann Peters: Operation Cool.  I'm very excited about both of those ventures so I hope you'll check them out too. 

Our lovely blogfest host, Deana Barnhart has started us out with some get to know you questions so I'll get to those now.


Where do you write?
My life has been insanely busy lately and I find that I'm in the car a lot, between my half hour commute to work and the 20 minute commute to take my daughter to school, I consider the car as my thinking space. I try to think about my characters and stories while I'm driving so when I do get the time to sit down and write, I know exactly where I'm going and what I want to say.  



When writing , do you listen to music or do you need complete silence?
I need music. Music helps me to access the specific mood and emotion I'm looking for in my work. I compile a playlist for my WIPs and listen to them in the car to help me get into the right mindset. 

What was your inspiration for your latest manuscript and where did you find it?
My YA novel started its life when I had a bizarre dream in 2003.  I jotted down the most interesting parts of the dream knowing they'd be great for a novel someday. 'Someday' came in 2005 when I read a novel by Michael Lawrence. I closed the book and thought, "Oh my gosh, that dream of mine, it needs to be a YA novel!" Until that point, I figured I'd write for adults. Everything snapped into place once I realized the book should be YA. Now I just need someone to publish it. 

And that's all I'll bore you with for now. If you're here from GUTGAA, please leave a comment with your blog link so I can be sure to stop over and meet you too. This is going to be fun! (And if you're not from GUTGAA, I'm glad you're here too!)


Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Roo Cadell Interview

You may have read a couple posts back that I wanted to start a publicity group to honor worthy authors who aren't getting the attention they deserve. This applies to indie, self-pubbed, and traditionally published books. (If you want to join the group or nominate a title for this, email me at indiebookgroup (at) gmail (dot) com.

The first selection for this group is the superbly written and unforgettable book, The Rainey Seasons by Roo Cadell, available exclusively as a Kindle ebook. The book follows Mel Rainey as she discovers that life isn't what she thought and there are more invisible possibilities than she could ever have imagined.   From a depressed, surly teenage boy, to a crazy aunt, to a mysterious old man to the smart and quick witted Mel, herself, the cast of characters is so unique and enthralling that you will carry them around with you for a very long time.

The writing itself is so good it makes me jealous. (No joke. This is definitely one of those books I wish I'd written.)  I truly believe this book is of the caliber of best seller status. And, the way hot teen books go today, this would make for an incredible movie franchise. (anybody out there have any film connections?)

    I decided to ask Roo a few questions, which she was kind enough to answer. I hope you'll take a look at her book. It's $3.50 well spent. I also hope you'll enjoy our little Q&A. Now, let's meet Roo Cadell!

Restless Writer (RW): How long have you been writing?

Roo Cadell (RC): Since my mid-teens really, but I only began publishing about eight years ago, in my mid-twenties, starting with stories written for a partworks publisher (available monthly by subscription), followed by several novels written to a fairly strict formula under various names for a packager that produces series for publishers of children’s books. While I was writing these I wrote other things for myself, the main project being The Rainey Seasons.

RW: Why did you decide to go the Kindle ebook route to publishing?

RC: Honestly? I got fed up of publishers telling me that the work I sent them wasn’t what they were looking for just then, or that it was out of tune with the current market. It was never my ambition to write for a specific market. It might sound conceited, but I only ever wanted to write for myself (hoping that a few people out there would be interested). So... the ebook route!

RW: Besides the amazing The Rainey Seasons, you've also written the adorable Swoozy Noon series. Are you currently working on anything new?

RC: I’m always working on something new, but never talk about it until it’s finished. Even then I don’t like to say much about my writing. Writers write, speakers speak – generally.

RW: Where is your favorite vacation spot?

RC: I have two. One is in North Wales, a perfect little purpose-built Italianate village called Portmeirion. The other is actually in Italy: the town of Bellagio beside Lake Como. If you’re looking for some place to encourage your imagination to wander - or to write – head to either of these!

Thank you so much, Roo!  Little do you know that your answers to the last question have made me miss Wales and Bellagio...both places I've visited and agree are beautiful.

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Terri Rowe Interview


This time, I'm interviewing another awesome MeeGenius author who's another home state girl. (perhaps MichGenius would be a more accurate name?)
Terri Rowe is the author of the adorable, and fun, Green Goo. So head on over there and snatch up a copy for yourself. It's cute. It's funny. It won't break the bank.
You can keep up with Terri on her blog and her Facebook page.
So, without further ado, Terri Rowe!
The Restless Writer (RW): What undesirable food item is ‘green goo’ to you?
Terri Rowe (TR): Well, I was quite limited in my eating habits-it took me years to get brave enough to try a lot of different foods. I didn't like tomatoes when I was really young-but by the time I was around 10-they were one of my favorite foods. I also didn't try guacamole until I was an adult-and now I love it soo much-I even use it as a sandwich spread. I was blessed with an aunt that always was encouraging me to tr new foods and new experiences. I am still not fond of red cherries-but I will eat them. I prefer black cherries. I also agree with my 98 year old grandmother-she says custard pie is certainly not her favorite-but she will eat! :)

RW: Did a particular incident prompt you to write this story?
TR: When I was first dating my husband-I went to a family Christmas gathering on his side adn that was the first time I met my two year old nephew. Someone had just had him try some food that he didn't like-the texture was gross to him-and as he toddled over to me-he stopped and threw up all over me. He looked at me with big sad eyes-a little scared. I laughed-asked him if he felt better-he nodded-and then I said-"Well, it's all okay. Let's get you cleaned up." I had him in mind and two of my friends daughters-one tha also vomits when trying foods of an odd texture and one that eats guacamole by the spoonful-at just two years old.

RW: How long have you been writing for children?
TR: I have been writing for children for over 10 years. One of my first projects was a gift for a co-worker. I ended up with his name for a Christmas gift exchange and my other co-workers challenged me to write and illustrate a story for the guy's daughter-as he was devoted to her. I spent well over 80 hours on that project. I was very proud of it and it was extremely well received. :)

RW: How did you first hear of MeeGenius?
TR: I am a fan of Three Minute Fiction contests on Facebook-which is an online writer's community based on the 600 word or less writing challenge sponsored by NPR. I saw a blurb on that sight about the MeeGenius Author Challenge and thought it sounded very exciting!

RW: What’s your favorite meal?
TR: My dad's homemade lasagna-with his homemade sauce, garlic toast, and his coleslaw with his homemade sauce. We usually have guacamole and chips as an appetizer.

RW: If you were invited to a dinner party that was only serving classically hated foods, who would you want to go with you?
TR: I would want my siblings there, my husband-and also my best friend. My best friend is always horrified by my ability to try and eat foods that I have never had or don't really like very much.

RW: Who are some of your favorite children’s picture book authors?
TR: From my childhood-I loved Katherine Jackson, Richard Scarry, and as I got older Marion Holland, Laura Inglass Wilder, Sydney Taylor, Elizabeth Enright, Lois Lenski, Julie Campbell, and so many, many other great authors. I was blessed with plenty of time spent at the library and reading at home. :)

RW: What are you working on now?
TR: I am working on four new storybooks. One of them also features a food-this time a pretty universal favorite food of children around the world. I am also working on two middle grade novels, a blog, and several screenplays.

Thanks so much for stopping by Terri! Although, you have made me hungry for guacamole. :) 

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

It Needs to be Said

Ladies and gentlemen, who wants to get on board with a rant about the unfairness of publishing? I see at least one of you with your hand raised, so let's forge ahead.

Take, for example, the fate of books that are good. I mean, really good. And they get no press. They get no acclaim. They are released. Some people find them. They fade into nothingness. Yeah, I'm gonna name some names here.

You know what book I really enjoyed that didn't get the recognition it deserved?
Rob & Sara.com co-written by P.J. Petersen and Ivy Ruckman. Really cool people too. How do I know? Because I wrote to them after I finished the book to tell them how much I enjoyed it. I loved how they subtly wove in the message that there are dangers lurking on the internet, that people aren't necessarily who they claim to be, but that it isn't all bad. You really can meet a kindred spirit in a digital life. They were grateful for my letter because they were slammed for not doing exactly what I said they did. They didn't beat the morale of the story into your brain. They let the reader come to their own conclusion. It was a skillfully executed book. But if you click that book title above, you'll find it's out of print. Amazon doesn't even have a cover photo available. Sad. Not fair.

I could make an enormous list of these kinds of books, but that would get redundant so I'll let Rob & Sara.com stand as my example for that.

But now I have a new kind of example. This is the kind I bet most of you can get behind. The books that are so wonderful they deserve to be published. But they just get rejected. Again and again and again. And then you look at some of the things that are published and see that it's no better than your manuscript. No better than your friends manuscript. But theirs is a book and yours is a file on your computer. Unless, of course, you self publish, which barely gives you any more credibility than if you'd left it a file on your computer. But there is brilliant stuff that falls into this category.

For example:
Brand new book 2 in the Holly Wild series



One of the adorable Swoozy Noon books by Roo Cadell

Now, Holly Wild is available in print, thanks to her savvy author/illustrator. My daughter has the first book and just loved it. What could be more fun than a nature loving girl and her adventures in Michigan?

I am really disappointed that the Swoozy Noon series is only available as an ebook. The stories are short, funny and adorable. I would love to cuddle up with these little books and read them with my kids. It's not the same to cuddle up with the iPad. It just isn't.

But these two series definitely get the Restless Writer Seal of approval. But they should have more of a chance to get noticed. Word of mouth only works if someone finds them to talk about in the first place.

And then, there is the talented and brilliant Jody Lamb. Rejected far more than it ever should have been, her beautiful story, Easter Ann Peters: Operation Cool, tells the story of a middle grade girl who struggles to get comfortable in her own skin while balancing the pressures of school with the secret of her alcoholic mother. Sounds heavy, but Jody has given so much life and humor to Easter Ann that it's truly a heartwarming story. Jody has finally found a new, independent publisher who was wise enough to see the high quality of the story and its importance. But, being new and independent, it's hard to get a new list of books off the ground. So there's a Kickstarter campaign.  I pre-ordered my copy through the Kickstarter because it's another fantastic book that deserves a chance.

And all this led me to an idea...

There are groups online that seek to link aspiring authors and self published authors so that, hopefully, something will come of it. Besides some friendships, I don't see that it really makes much of a difference in sales and marketing. Other than that, if you're willing to pay big bucks to have someone market your books, or to pay for ads somewhere, you don't have many options.

What if, there were other people like me who love good books and like to help authors. What if, we were to form a book review club? I'd like to start this club. Here's how I envision it working.

We have 1 title per month, 12 a year. To be in the club, you promise to read and review at least 3 of the books. Now, because the goal is to help generate sales and publicity, I would hope everyone would buy the 3 titles they agree to review. But if there are other, legal, ways to get a copy of the book, so be it. Books can be reviewed on individual blogs, hopefully on a website like Amazon or GoodReads or wherever else it might benefit the author. Reviews are to be truthful. If you read a self published book and it shouldn't have been published yet. Say it. But not in a way that's hateful. Say it constructively: I didn't think the plot was well thought out. The characters didn't feel real to me. There were too many distracting grammar errors. etc.

If you're interested in submitting your book for consideration for this review process, please stick to the children's and young adult genre. Sorry, that's just what I like to read so that's who I want to help. If you want to submit your book, you agree to review at least 3 other titles in the year. If you don't, your title will be dropped from the list and any published publicity will be deleted. Show the love, folks. Don't be greedy.

And, one more thing. I'm tired of bloggers selling ad space on their personal blogs. Really? Do I deserve $25 a month or more from you to put a picture of your book in my sidebar? No, I don't. So, I've decided that I'll go ahead and feature someone's book in my sidebar, for free, once a month. I'll draw a winner every month and contact you for a graphic and link. Does that sound fun? I'll start with Holly Wild and Swoozy Noon for the rest of this month because they're both new and I love them.

Email me at indiebookgroup (at) gmail (dot) com  for more information about any of this and to join up!

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Dream Girl Book Trailer

Been quiet lately, haven't I? Yes, that's a bi-product of busyness. 
What have I been busy doing?
I'm glad you asked.
For one thing, I've finally slogged through the major revisions of Dream Girl! (my YA novel for those of you who don't know what I'm talking about.) It's currently out to the few and the proud readers who will give me their feedback so I can revise some more, as necessary and get this bad boy into the hands of agents and editors. 
To keep myself from premature submission syndrome, I put together a book trailer. For a taste of what I've been toiling over for so many years, here's a peek.  
video

The graphics aren't the best, but you know what is? That awesome voice reading my words. It's a powerful experience to give your words to someone else and see how they interpret them. In this case, I couldn't have imagined a better result. In fact, I am so impressed that I decided to interview The Voice, himself, in case you want to give the English treatment to your own words. (I highly recommend it.)

Welcome, Robert Charleston of www.OneLoneEnglishman.com

 
This is the view from Robert's studio.
The Restless Writer (RW): You have a gorgeous voice! Your timing and inflection are just perfect. Have you taken voice or acting lessons or is this 100% natural talent?

Robert Charleston (RC): No lessons of any kind. I simply enjoy speaking other people’s words aloud. Some things I’m asked to read are quite a challenge. All the better!

RW: You mention it a little on your website, but how did you get started doing this?

RC: American friends used to laugh at the way I said things (such as dot-com) and ask me to record the odd poem or piece of prose to send to friends back home to amuse them too. Except that most of the friends (all right, women friends!) weren’t so much amused as... how can I put it... fascinated. And they too asked me to record things. And here we are today.

RW: Have you ever been to the US? If so, where did you go and what did you most enjoy here? If not, what would you most like to see or do here?

RC: I haven’t travelled widely in America. New York, parts of California, hitch-hiked along the odd highway, that’s all. Top place is probably Grand Central Station. Two places I would love to visit are Sam Phillips’ Sun Studio in Memphis (to record one of my own songs in the very space used by Elvis and Jerry Lee), and the Florida Keys (probably because of Hemingway.)

I am in love with this view!
RW: Many Americans have a romanticized view of England. What do you like most about living there? Can you tell us a little about where you live?

RC: I like never knowing what weather to expect from one day to the next. I’m also a sucker for open countryside, Spring, harvest-time, tucked-away villages, ruined castles, and big soft ice-cream at the seaside. And where do I live? Right now in a gorgeous old cottage, parts of which date back to the mid seventeen hundreds. It’s in my study at this cottage that I do my recording. There are no straight lines in this building, which makes it constantly fascinating, and the garden is like a small park, with mossy steps, a lily-covered pond, curious walls, and a little upside down house concealed in thick bushes, with a door in the floor only big enough for a child to crawl through.

RW: Your sister, Elspeth, has a companion site www.OneLoneEnglishwoman.com  Presumably, you have a good relationship with her. Did you always get along well?

RC: Elspeth and I both provide readings for anyone who wants them, mostly separately but occasionally (when asked) together. We get along very well these days, but when we were kids she was pretty bossy. A couple of years younger than me and wanting to be in charge the whole time. These days, she lets me be boss on alternate Wednesdays.

Window on the right is the studio where the magic happens!
RW: Your recording samples are from classic literature. Are you an avid reader? Any favorite authors or passages?

RC: I used to read far more than I do these days. Because I do a fair bit of voice work now I like to seek out passages or poems that I can explore thoroughly, which can mean poring over a short piece for ages, reading it aloud over and over seeking out the most affecting inflexion or nuance without sounding pompous (I hope). I would love to record an extract from something dark, like Dracula, Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde and The Turn of the Screw. But I like to do modern stuff too!

RW: The recording you did for me, which I used for my book trailer, gave me goosebumps, it's so good! How did you get started doing book trailer voiceovers and what do you most enjoy about it?

RC: When my cousin (an author) asked me to do a book trailer for a YouTube video (The Realities of Aldous U) I relished those few words so much that I just wanted to do more and more. I wouldn’t want to do a whole audio book, but I do like trying to get the most out of a few lines, be it an extract from a novel, a poem or, indeed, a book trailer intro.

RW: Is there anything you're at liberty to share about the most memorable greetings you've been asked to record?

RC: Ah, The Song of Solomon. Whew! I’ll record that again anytime, with pleasure, particularly the bit about the (CENSORED!).

RW: If someone loves your voice but doesn't have a literary passage or any specific material in mind for you to read, what would you recommend?

RC: I would suggest that they email me (OneLoneEnglishman (at) gmail (dot) com)or Elspeth (OneLoneEnglishwoman (at) gmail (dot) com) and say what sort of mood they wish to invoke or convey and we’ll see if we can find something appropriate. No extra charge for the research. Elspeth and I enjoy it, we really do.

RW: Are there any famous voices that inspire you?

RC: I don’t know about ‘inspire’, but there are some that are a joy to listen to. Orson Welles for one. Garrison Keillor for another. And Cary Grant, Antonio Banderas, Alan Rickman, and oh, to sound like Geraldine McEwan...

RW: Ok, give it to me straight. Many Americans turn to putty for a good English accent, but do you have a thing for American accents? (of any variety)

RC: I’m not good at accents myself, but I do enjoy other people’s. You name it I’ll probably dig it at some level. 


Thank you, Robert!  

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

A monumental honor

Since I've immersed myself in the business of writing and publishing, whenever I read a new book, I always look at the dedication and acknowledgments. Sometimes, I wonder who those names belong to. Increasingly, some of the names become familiar. Ah, that's an agent. That's another author I heard speak at a conference. Whoa, that's a dude I met at a conference. Etc.

Well, as much as I want to see my own name printed on the cover of a book, I never in my wildest dreams expected my name to appear, alone, on the dedication page of a book. I mean, who dreams of that? It's awesome but how could such a thing happen? Well, I'll tell you how. You need to make friends with authors. (or belong in their immediate family).

In my case, I wrote an email to an author, 7 years ago, to tell him how much I loved one of his books. Over the years, we've become friends. Such good friends, in fact, that he surprised me by dedicating the final book in the Jiggy McCue series to me. I can't explain the emotions that jockeyed for position in the moment I saw my name staring back at me from the coveted dedication page.

I am humbled, honored and delighted. And, naturally, I love this book. 

Me loving "my" book.




Murder and Chips by Michael Lawrence, is a UK import. (if you know me, you know this is even more thrilling for me). If you want to read a book and tell people, hey, I know the lady this book is dedicated to, I hope you'll support my friend and get a copy for yourself. Besides, while I'm waiting for my name to be printed on the spine of my own book, I'll gladly sign the dedication page of this one for you.

Love and rainbows!

The Restless Writer...a little less restless thanks to this.

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Writing Prompt

So, I thought I'd try something a little different and give you a picture as a writing prompt. I've already come up with my own story for this character and I'm fascinated to see what other people will come up with for the exact same picture.
It doesn't have to be a long writing prompt. In fact, if you'd like to just brainstorm some ideas, phrases or words to describe the scene, that's fine with me too.
Just post whatever you feel like writing below as a comment.
What does this little scene bring to mind for you?


Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Beth Arnstein Interview

 Yes, it's time for another MeeGenius author interview. (There are a lot of us, aren't there?) 
Beth Arnstein has written the adorable story I'm Not Afraid of Anything. Which, I might add, is a current MeeGenius Bestseller! Way to go, Beth! 
Let's see what Beth has to say about writing and childhood fears.

The Restless Writer (RW):  As a mother of two young children myself, I know it can be extremely difficult to carve out writing time. You're the mother of a very little one yourself. How do you manage to make time for writing? 
Beth Arnstein (BA):  This is a tough one for me lately. My son is a year and a half and, though he’s never been a good sleeper, he has recently cut his naps to a half hour a day, tops. With dinner preparations (he likes to help me cook so I have to get the dangerous stuff done while he’s not around) and other responsibilities, it has been almost impossible for me to write during the day as I had before. And with him still not consistently sleeping through the night, the early morning shift popular with many writers (including Lisa Rose as she said in her interview) seems too tough for me too. I’m squeezing in some writing during Sesame Street and in the evening after he’s gone to bed. I’m not as productive this way, but I’m trying to make it work. I don’t think I’m too different from other writers who work or raise kids. If it is important enough, we just make time.

Beth Arnstein
RW: Your picture book deals with childhood fears. What are some of the things that scared you as a child?
BA: I wasn’t afraid of much, but my fears were very similar to that of the character in my book. I can remember, when I was still young enough to have to hold my mom’s hand in the shopping mall, we rode an escalator up to the next floor. My foot, or since I remember it that way it was probably just my shoelace, got caught between the steps as they were closing at the top. Someone had to press the emergency stop button. Whenever anything like this, or the story that inspired I’M NOT AFRAID OF ANYTHING, happened, my imagination filled in what could’ve happened next. So, I guess what really scared me was my imagination.

RW: Are you still afraid of any of the same things from your childhood?
BA: I’m still a little uneasy on escalators. Though I don’t have a history with them, I’m also not a huge fan of birds.
 
RW: Are you the type of person who loves scary movies or do you prefer less creepy fare?
BA: Scary movies give me nightmares. There’s a great Target commercial out now with a man watching a scary movie and he turns on the light, which is a cfl and takes some time to get bright, so he stays scared. That’s so me. If I ever do watch something scary, I do it during the day and make sure someone, even if it is only my cat, is around to bring me back to reality.

RW: How did this story come to you?
BA: When I was about seven, I was sitting on the Berber carpet in the basement, smoothing my dress around my knees while my sister Katie (then four years old) was vacuuming. With the whole floor to work on, she, of course, chose to start right next to me. Right next to me got closer and closer until the vacuum caught my dress. The horrible growl of the vacuum scared us both. With pie-plate eyes, Katie tried to pull it away, but the vacuum was old and weighed probably twice as much as my sister. Sure I was going in after my dress, I screamed, “Mom! Katie’s sucking me up!” My mom ran to my rescue, laughing as she untangled the dress from the brush roll. She said there was no way I could fit in the vacuum, but, again, with my imagination and too many cartoons rattling around in my head, I didn’t completely believe her. Good thing, too, or there would be no story.
 
RW: What's the scariest story you've ever read?
BA: Probably THERE’S A MONSTER AT THE END OF THIS BOOK. Not too scary, I know. Like movies, scary books stick with me. Even the HUNGER GAMES had me a little on edge.
 
RW: The illustrations for your book are excellent. How did you react when you saw them for the first time?
BA: I reread the story a few times in a row. The illustrations have so many details and I didn’t want to miss any of them! Then I found David and Erin Hallangen-Lake on facebook and quickly sent a thank-you. It was the first time I’d ever not collaborated with the illustrator and I was just so pleased to see the creative take on my words.

RW: What is your biggest dream for your writing?
BA: My goal was to be published before my son learns to read. He’s so young, but as smart as he is, it happened just in time. Now, my dream is that my books will unlock something hidden inside each reader: dreams, potential, feelings of self-worth, or memories depending on the story. I want my words to make someone else feel something.

Thank you so much for answering my questions, Beth. And, I must add, I can't stomach scary stories or movies either. Glad I'm not the only one. 

Friday, April 27, 2012

A Crack in the Line Book Discussion and Author Chat

If you're a writer, pay attention. I have fun news for you!

There is going to be a book discussion and author chat on Facebook, Friday, May 11 at 2pm EST.  You shouldn't miss it. There are a variety of things going on with this event that can benefit you. Yes, I'm looking at you. Let me explain.

American hardcover edition
The event kicks off with a real time book discussion of Michael Lawrence's Printz award nominee, A Crack in the LineMichael, himself, will be online for the discussion as well. How often do you get to attend a book discussion with the author present? Not often. But, wait! Before you click to another page because you haven't read the the book and you don't care to, let me explain what else is in store.

First, you'll have to opportunity to pick the brain of an author who has published over 40 books for all ages in the youth spectrum. Books for babies? Yes. Books for beginning readers? Yes. Early chapter books? Yes. Middle grade? Yes. YA? Yes! He's offering both readers and writers the chance to ask their burning questions during this event.

Still not interested? Well, have you considered coming to scope out the possibilities social media offers you to connect to your audience? People are doing online release parties these days. Have you been to one? Do you know how to conduct such a thing for yourself? Are you interested in doing your own author chats on your social media network of choice? Then attend as many as possible in the meantime. See what works and what doesn't. It's a fun kind of research, wouldn't you say? And, you never know, you might find an author whose work you'll really enjoy. Or get some great tips. Or make a new friend. The possibilities are endless!

Yes, I admit, Michael is one of my top 3 favorite authors but I wanted to share the news about this cool event that I think will offer a lot to current fans as well as people who aren't familiar with his work at all. Will I be there? You bet! I hope you will too! (even if you don't read the book ahead of time)

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Bethany Telles Interview


The next new MeeGenius author I'm spotlighting is Bethany Telles. Her story is absolutely adorable, Waiting for James in a Sea of Pink. (isn't that a great title too?) I hope you'll check out her story, right after you check out her interview.

The Restless Writer (RW): Your story, Waiting for James in a Sea of Pink is really cute! This sounds like something you have personal experience with. How did inspiration strike you? 
Bethany Telles (BT): Our family mainly consists of boys, including our two little ones. However, my husband has one little cousin who happens to be... a girl. *Gasp!* She's the most stereotypical, adorable little girl I have ever met, and her fourth birthday was EXACTLY as described in my book. I've never seen so much pink! I noticed her older brother pacing by the window during the party, bored to frantic tears, waiting and waiting for his friend to come. It was just too easy!

RW: What's the best party you've ever been to? 
BT: I have no idea! I'm usually the party thrower, so I'd be completely biased. My dream party would be some sort of masquerade ball or Mad Hatter Tea Party!

RW: I love the character names in your book. How do you choose character names, generally? BT: Honestly? Okay, don't laugh... I couldn't give up the baby name book I got when I was pregnant with my first kiddo. It's sitting right on my desk, next to my Dictionary and Thesaurus!

RW: I really like the illustrations for your book. How did you feel the first time you saw them? 
BT: I was blown away. It wasn't at all what I had pictured in my mind, so when I saw how artistically different Mr. Parker had interpreted my story, I jumped for joy. I loved the expressions on the characters' faces, and the teeny tiny details he threw in. He did such a great job!

Author Bethany Telles
RW: Gavin has to wait in a sea of pink. What color would you hate to be surrounded by? 
BT: Anything neon, I think. I'm an earthy-tone kind of gal!

RW: Who do you relate to more in your book, Gavin or Brittin? 
BT: Gavin. Hands down! Haha I am NOT the girliest girl on the planet... Plus, my brother (and his friends) got away with everything when we were growing up!

RW: What's next for your writing? 
BT: Well, I plan on perfecting my craft (if there is such a thing!) and submitting like a crazy person to agents. I am involved in Julie Foster Hedlund's 12x12 in 2012- that's where you write one picture book draft each month this year- so I'm hoping to have enough manuscripts under my belt in case I finally catch the eye of someone willing to take a second look at me.

RW: If you could have lunch with any author, alive or dead, who would it be and what would you want to talk about? 
BT: Good Lord! I didn't see this coming... Well, it's a toss up between Tolkien and Seuss! They both had such deep connections with their own imaginations. I think we would talk about all the people in the restaurant we'd be eating at. I would probably pick one person, then ask them to create that person's life story. Just to hear what they'd have to say? Man... I'd have goosebumps for years!

RW: If you could go on a writer's retreat, where would you most want to go? 
BT: Scotland or Italy. I know they have one in Italy (or did!), but those are two places I'm dying to see. If I'm going to be realistic, though, the SCBWI Winter Conference in New York is up there on my list as well!

Thanks for a fun interview, Bethany! You can keep tabs on Bethany at her blog:



Sunday, April 15, 2012

Lisa Rose Interview

     It is truly a pleasure for me to introduce you to the next MeeGenius author in my interview series,  Lisa Rose. And what makes Lisa Rose so special? Well, she's a hometown girl! She's in my regional SCBWI chapter and I've had the wonderful opportunity of meeting her in person.  I am so happy that we're both MeeGenius authors now. Truly, it's a wonderful group to be part of, as you've been learning from these interviews. (and there are more to come!)  Lisa Rose is the author of Oh No! The Easter Bunny is Allergic to Eggs!
     Welcome, Lisa Rose!


The Restless Writer (RW): How long have you been writing for kids?

Lisa Rose (LR): I have always loved writing and kids. I was a babysitter, camp counselor, swim instructor, and first grade teacher. I guess you could say that it was only natural that I wrote for children. I studied children’s literature and adult playwriting at the University of Michigan. However, once I started teaching I was so immersed in children’s writing that I began to write less plays and more children’s books.
When my husband had brain cancer, I realized that life was too short not to live your dreams. I loved teaching, but I really felt like I was supposed to write. He recovered, we had a child, I stopped teaching and now I take care of my daughter and write.

RW: You've written a really unique and heartwarming story about the Easter Bunny. How did you come up with the idea for this story?

LR: I was working with an agent. She was trying to sell my Jewish themed pictures books. We had no success. So she suggested I write a holiday book for the mass market. My agent claimed that publishers look for holiday books with unique twists. I wrote the first draft on a long car ride to Syracuse to see my in-laws. And yes, ironically, I am Jewish.

RW: Since this book features a holiday, I must ask, what is your favorite holiday?

LR: I love Halloween because it is just fun! No pressure with presents, family, or dinners. All you have to do is be willing to be silly.

RW: What has been your favorite part of working with MeeGenius?

LR: I have been published in e-mags and in anthologies but this is my first illustrated book. It is so exciting to see my words come alive. I see my stories in my head (in fact I still picture things like a playwright on the stage) but now other people can have that view too.

RW: Do you have any other writing projects in the works right now?

LR: I always have things at various stages, but right now I am more excited about my chapter book titled THE WAR SWITCHED MY DAD. It is a timely book that shows how a family copes with a loved one returning from war suffering from P.T. S. D. This chapter book is like Encyclopedia Brown meets M.A.S.H. It is mystery that also tackles a very serious issue like P.T.S.D. with sensitivity and a touch of wacky humor.

RW: What are your favorite holiday books? (Any holiday)
LR: It’s going to sound cliché but I love T’was the Night before Christmas. It is just so perfect in so many ways. I think this is why it has endured for so long. I liked it as a child and as an adult writer I admire it.

RW: What is your favorite time of day to write? Are you more creative in the morning, afternoon or evening?

LR: I think of my best ideas when I am working out early (4-6 am) in the morning. My brain is crisp and clear and I let it wander while my heart pounds and body sweats. I write down my ideas (mostly on sweaty scraps of paper) and work on them when I have time. I have a four year old with special needs so writing time is scheduled. I have a sitter come to my house to play with her while I work upstairs.

RW: What would you say to an aspiring author who is hesitating on trying digital publishing because they have that dream of a print book?

LR: I would state the fact that Amazon sold more e-books than print books last year. Then I would ask a question: Why would you want to be a cassette tape when you could be an iPod?

RW: How do you get back on track when you're not in the mood to write?

LR: Because of my “mom job” I can’t work every day so it’s a real treat when I finally get a chance to put my butt in the chair and work on what has been rattling around in my head and spilling out onto (sweaty) little pieces of paper. Also, I find when you are paying someone to watch your child you can become quite creative on command---LOL!
Seriously, I find it more challenging to cope with the rejection. If someone says they want to write, I tell them to run full speed into a brick wall 1000 times. If after all that they still want to write, then I tell them to sit down and write and rewrite and rewrite.
The All American Rejects help me too. The song Move Along “When all you have to be is strong move along, move along. Even if you hope is gone, move along move along…right back what is wrong.” To me, this means to just keep writing and learning and submitting no matter how many rejections you receive. Just keep going. BELIEVE. LIVE THE DREAM.

For more info see www.LisaRoseWrites.com

Thank you so much for dropping by, Lisa Rose!
 

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Jennifer Young Interview


Sticking with the MeeGenius new author theme, I've asked Jennifer Young to answer some questions about her adorable story, Poison Apple Pie. (Which is currently a MeeGenius bestseller. Congrats, Jennifer!) You may recognize Jennifer from my blog, as she's been a follower and a reliable commenter for awhile now. I really appreciate that she's taken the time to actively follow my blog so I'm more than happy for this opportunity to introduce you to her.  (And she has a fun blog too.)So, here we go!

Author Jennifer Young
The Restless Writer (RW): Poison Apple Pie draws on popular fairy tale elements to create this new tale. What is your favorite fairy tale?
Jennifer Young (JY): Cinderella hands down. It has every element I love about classic fairy tales; magic, a moral, some justice, and a very happy ending.  I had some funny memories as a kid with my sister. We would act out Cinderella at times. For some reason, I always played one of the ugly stepsisters.  We had my little brother participate too, poor kid.

RW: Poison Apple Pie is a fantastic title. Did it come to you before or after you wrote the story? 
JY: Thanks Sarah, I’m so glad you think so.  I thought of the title during the writing process. I had it as my #2 pick. I almost went with Winka the Witch instead. I took my husband’s advice and changed it. 

RW: How long have you been writing picture books?
JY: I started writing for children back in 2008. I had been a stay at home mother for a little more than a year. My five year old daughter was one at the time and I was very much inspired to try out this new writing adventure.

RW: What are some of your favorite picture books?
JY: When I was a kid I loved (and still do):MISS NELSON IS MISSING! By Allard, Harry and James Marshall (I loved the twist ending) Tikki Tikki Tembo by Arlene Mosel (Tikki Tikki Tembo’s name in itself is like a song) How the Grinch Stole Christmasby Dr. Seuss (Who doesn’t love this one, right?!)
As an adult I absolutely fell in love with: All the Mercer Mayer books, Click Clack Moo: Cows That Type by Cronin, Doreen (This is one funny book!) Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs by Judi Barrett (Love the storyline, and the silliness of pictures- this is probably is my #1) No, David! by David Shannon (His illustrations are outlandishly fantastic) The Polar Express byVan Allsburg, Chris (I can’t believe I didn’t find this one sooner. It captures the magic of Christmas)

RW: What excited you most about the whole MeeGenius contest process?
JY: The most exciting part was seeing my story illustrated by the very talented Lara Apponyi and getting an email from the MeeGenius Team notifying me that Poison Apple Pie made the finalist round. I opened the email at 9 o’clock at night when everyone was asleep and all I wanted to do was jump around and tell the world. Of course we couldn’t announce it on Facebook or Twitter for about a month. Also, a definite highlight during the process was having the continual support from my family, friends and the community.

RW: Are you currently working on any other writing projects or just enjoying the success of Poison Apple Pie for a bit?
JY: I have a few things going on. Since the beginning of 2012 I joined a fabulous writing challenge where I have to write one picture book draft a month for a year. The challenge is called 12 x 12 in 2012 and it’s hosted by Julie Hedlund on her blog Write Up My Life.  I joined a poetry challenge for the entire month of April at Rena Traxel’s blog. I also have a couple of picture books going out next month to querying agents.  Lastly, I’m waiting to hear back about future edits on a picture book that is currently under contract with Willow Moon Publishing.

RW: Fairy tales seem to be rising in popularity, at least as far as Hollywood is concerned. Are you planning to see Mirror Mirror? 
JY: That one looks great! Julia Roberts is great in everything she's in. Although, I'll skip the theaters and see it when it comes out on tv. I do have a soft spot for fairy tale movies like Enchanted, Happily Ever After, and I’ve even enjoyed a few episodes of the tv series, Once Upon a Time.

RW: What is the best book you've read, so far, this year?
JY: Lately, I’ve been reading mostly kidlit books.  I’ll have to go with My Monster Mama Loves Me So by Laura Leuck. I would LOVE to create a book just like this one day.  As for adult lit I really enjoyed Eat Pray Love by Elizabeth Gilbert. 

RW: Was there something specific that inspired you to write this story or just one of those moments of pure inspiration? 
JY: The story started off as a different type of fractured fairy tale. At first, I created a story where the main character travels into different fairy tales and partakes in each story as a new character. It was kind of like the behind the scenes of a fairy tale. From there, I created the character Winka the witch and in some way it developed into Poison Apple Pie.

Thank you so much, Jennifer, and best of luck with your books!